Could this be true? Often, my children and other social media users interpellate me to make sure something is either true or false, something they have read or seen in any of the Internet platforms. They resort to me as a kind of perhaps first or last instance, I do not know which, to satisfy their doubts, knowing that my job is all about journalism and social communications.
Since these questions are so recurrent, I imagine that just like them, there are thousands in that dilemma: believe or disbelieve, validate or not validate the potential certainty of an event which apparently attracts their attention and arouses interest to prove it convincingly, once seen in the social media.
The already high level of mistrust only goes upwards, generated by inaccurate or fake, intentionally distorted news to misinform or manipulate the public, which is harming the information channels of the social media, thus inflicting one of the most formidable ways that the modern humanity uses to connect and be aware of everything.
Every day it’s necessary to make an effort to prevent and diminish these harmful tendencies, and that’s exactly what professional journalists do, who also disseminate their news through digital platforms integrated to the printed newspapers.
That is, to apply the golden rules that command the rigorous verification of an event, its more correct mode of contextualization and its transmission to the public.
Here the rush to inform should not contaminate our exercise, attached to the truth and accuracy, two qualities that are above the rest, including the most urgent or demanding immediacy with which the public demands more and more information in the Internet everyday.
These professional ways of journalism that bet on the quality and minuciosidad of their content is what continues to give the traditional and modern media that embrace that strengthens them both and adds the reliability that plenty of Internet platforms lack, those which are indiscriminately accepting any post from any of the more than two billion people who browse, out of which and needless to say, have to be many with bad intentions.
This virtue of the professional journalistic media, in a sphere so overwhelmed by the diversity of contents, some that are news and others that are simple comments or dissemination of information that can lead to proper awareness, is the main asset that societies have to never succumb to falsehoods or be guided by erroneous perceptions of reality.
The freedom of the press, under which we exercise this profession, must be protected from the recklessness fostered by factories of falseness cradled in the social media, through the violation of privacy, the blatant publishing of things that attack human dignity, slander, defamation and misleading advertising.
Translated from spanish by Randy Rodriguez